UK public sector pay dispute - nurses, local gov, civil service, post office, etc.

Submitted by Steven. on June 7, 2007

Right so stuff is definitely beginning to happen now with this.

Basically the government is offering all these different sets of public sector workers 2-2.5% pay increases, at a time when real inflation - cost of living increases - are at 4.5%. This is effectively a 2-2.5% pay cut, and obviously totally unacceptable to those of us who work there.

Who here works in the different sectors? What's going on at your place?

All union-co-ordinated action seems quite weak, and most importantly is keeping everyone separate. Of course, they are forced to do this by anti-union laws. We're all facing the same deal but the unions won't act together, which is frustrating.

So this thread is to discuss and share news about what's going on with this struggle, and if there are any ways we can help push things forward. Enjoy!

steven

17 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on June 7, 2007

Right well from what I know:
Nurses at the RCN, previously a no strike union, are balloting I believe.

Postal workers just voted for a national strike, but no date set yet: http://www.cwu.org/news.asp?step=3&NID=1724

PCS went on strike Mayday, don't know if they're planning more

Local government, where I work, Unison has just started a survey of members to see if we would accept the deal, and secondly if we'd be prepared to take industrial action for a better one. Unison's asking for 5%, or £1,000, whichever's greater. Thing is we only found out on like Monday, and the dealine's tomorrow, so hardly anyone's getting asked in our branch. Our team's meeting was the only one in our dept this week, so we're the only ones who voted (we voted for industrial action)

Lots of people are my place aren't aware of the dispute, a lot weren't even aware that we were entitled to an annual pay rise every april, so it's a bit of an uphill struggle. Still have spoken to lots of people about it, helped put on and get people to our team's first union meeting, signed a couple of people up, etc. Don't get me wrong, I don't support Unison, or unions in general, but being a member will protect you if we go on strike, and it's worth joining for the insurance benefits I think.

Mike Harman

17 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on June 7, 2007

I think my current job might be affected by this, but the new one in a month definitely won't be, so I'll miss anything that happens.

steven

17 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on June 7, 2007

Mike Harman

I think my current job might be affected by this, but the new one in a month definitely won't be, so I'll miss anything that happens.

yeah i don't know what's happening with education workers... I haven't heard anything. Maybe their previous pay deal hasn't expired - anyone?

I know teaching assistants in some boroughs are being regraded...

Joseph Kay

17 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 21, 2007

bump. royal mail 24hr strike on june 29th

steven

17 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on June 26, 2007

right well it looks like we've actually got more time for consultation. we've called a meeting of everyone in our building about the offer. Also at the meeting we'll discuss pensions, and H&S (working temp this summer). Because with H&S meetings you can invite all workers, not just union members I suggested we call an H&S meeting, and append the pay/pensions stuff to it to increase participation, but that fell on deaf ears. Still, the email says non-members can come, then join, so I suppose that's almost as good, though we have some staff in the GMB (I invited and got a GMB member along to our dept meeting, will try the same for the big one).

Don't know what's happening with the rest of the place, cos our building only has what 5-700 people out of 10,000. I expect we'll reject the offer and back industrial action though. We've been told that public sector unions will be attempting to co-ordinate action and demands - but I reckon they probably won't. We should get a postie along to our meeting. I might try to get to some postal workers picket line as well if I have time.

I need to try to increase participation in all this in my dept at least - any tips anyone?

The Button - your excellent shop stewarding guide got lost somewhere - could you PM it back to one of the admins to put it up in Organise?

steven

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on July 10, 2007

Our building meeting voted for industrial action, we're doing the consultation this month.

A ballot of Unison health workers has been called off pending further talks:
http://unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3487

Don't know what the score is with other health workers like RCN though?

Next postal strike is this Thursday I believe

RPG

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by RPG on July 10, 2007

Steven - there won't be a NHS dispute over pay. The union's are doing a deal which will mean England follows Wales and Scotland and pays the 2.5% in full (except its already 3 months late).

steven

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on July 10, 2007

RPG

Steven - there won't be a NHS dispute over pay. The union's are doing a deal which will mean England follows Wales and Scotland and pays the 2.5% in full (except its already 3 months late).

That's awful. So the RCN have called off the ballot? I thought nurses were only offered 2%?

A lot of local councils even budgeted for 3%.

ernie

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ernie on July 14, 2007

Steven, were us expecting the RCN to call a ballot? They, Unison, the T&G and GMB have sliced up NHS workers very nicely thank you. From what I can gather no one really has a clue what the hell is happening. Also the question of pay is not upper most in most NHS workers minds a present, whether they will have a job, be regraded, have to reapply for their job or simply get to the end of the next shift working without some poor sod dying due to the lack of staff and sheer numbers is the most pressing question at present. On these issues, which are of direct and great importance to health workers, the unions have zip to say.
As for the pay deal, it has been divided into two payments and it is also a pay cut given the RPI is over 4% I think. The fact it is staggered means that it is even more of a pay cut i.e., the full pay rise only takes effect from October. The unions happily agreed to this deal, and why shouldn't they, they seeing their role is to be the spearhead of the managements shafting of the workers.
The unions have now called a national demonstration for the 13th October, which will be a means for defusing the mounting anger amongst Health workers faced with the endless attacks and demands. However, it could also offer an opportunity for workers (both health and others) to meet and discuss. The unions of course will parade themselves as doing something, this will be pretty sickening for the thousands how have lost their jobs, those students desperately looking for jobs, those whose pay has been cut already, those faced with working with less and less fellow workers and having to process ever more numbers of patients. In fact it is a downright insult.

Peter Good

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Peter Good on July 14, 2007

Steven,
It's an idea you might like to consider.

Back in the Winter of Discontent of the late 70's we had a thriving COHSE branch in our hospital. All of us were reluctant to go on strike and threaten patient care.

We invented something we called "imaginative Industrial action".
This worked from a core of shop stewards and activists. We ignored our trade union hierarchy and certainly the RCN (of whom we considered to be run by retired matrons and another branch of management).

Our actions included: ward and admin office occupation; an impromtu band in the foyer of a Health Authority building; the banning of catering staff serving tea to managers; using the press imaginatively; when nurses were told that in future they were to wear the old starched hat we had a couple of male nurses so attired; leafleting visitors; running managerial decisions up the grievance ladder, & etc.

The unions came down on us heavily. We learned not to trust any Marxist abbreviation. By winning visitors to our side and refusing to threaten patient care we won some useful press attention.

Anarchist need to step away from mainstream TU activity. Small groups using cunning and imagination are both inspiring and empowering.

Regards
Peter Good(TCA)

the button

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by the button on July 14, 2007

It's worth pointing out that this paydeal affects other sectors as well -- many employers in the charity or "not-for-profit" sector offer paydeals in line with public sector pay.

Steven.

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on July 14, 2007

the button

It's worth pointing out that this paydeal affects other sectors as well -- many employers in the charity or "not-for-profit" sector offer paydeals in line with public sector pay.

Again handy that we group them together in our sectors: http://libcom.org/sectors/public

Mike Harman

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on July 16, 2007

CROYDON UNISON
CONSULTATIVE PAY BALLOT

VOTE TO REJECT THE MISERABLE OFFER-
UNLESS YOU WANT TO ACCEPT A PAY CUT!

We've been offered 2% for this year's pay award by our employers.
With the Retail Price Index currently at a level of about
4.5% [ it was 4.8% not long ago ], we're being offered a pay cut in
real terms. Pay is increasing across the economy by 3.6%

A strong vote to reject should make our employers think again. If
they don't, we'll be balloted to formally reject the offer and take
industrial action. WE HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO DO THAT.

The Government want to use public sector workers to force down
pay settlements and control inflation. But that means we lose out
relative to other workers-especially the rich ones in the City who
get far more in Christmas bonuses than we get in a whole year!

That's why we're looking to take co-ordinated action with all the
other public sector unions, so we'd be out alongside postal
workers, teachers, civil servants and others in real united action.

UNISON nationlly is recommending that you reject the offer.

We deserve a decent wage for the valuable services we provide-
vote to reject the offer and be prepared to take industrial action to
get what we deserve.

SAY NO TO A PAY CUT-REJECT THE OFFER

http://www.royalmailchat.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2674

Spikymike

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on July 17, 2007

Where is this 'consultative' pay ballot . Heard nothing about it up here in Manchester (except a lefty steward commented there was a proposal for a consultative ballot as to whether to have a ballot on induastrial action!!) and nothing on the UNISON Web site last time I looked.

Mike Harman

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on July 17, 2007

I had a ballot paper saying vote for the agreement.

I filled out a 'no' vote, then my daughter tore it up :oops:

Steven.

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on July 18, 2007

Mike Harman

I had a ballot paper saying vote for the agreement.

I filled out a 'no' vote, then my daughter tore it up :oops:

Is this pensions or pay? Is the education workers pay deal different? Cos Unison's saying vote no for local govt pensions deal

Spikymike

Where is this 'consultative' pay ballot . Heard nothing about it up here in Manchester (except a lefty steward commented there was a proposal for a consultative ballot as to whether to have a ballot on induastrial action!!) and nothing on the UNISON Web site last time I looked.

Consultation is workplace based - my branch we stuffed 3,000 enveloped to put in pigeonholes. Maybe they're not doing every place, just a sample. If a yes comes out there should be a ballot for action:
Council strike looms closer
http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3520

Mike Harman

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on July 18, 2007

Steven. pensions. And I had a leaflet for a yes vote.

Steven.

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on July 19, 2007

Mike Harman

Steven. pensions. And I had a leaflet for a yes vote.

Shit sorry that was a mistake in my post - I meant Unison's asking for a Yes pensions vote, and No pay one.

catch what's your pay deal at the moment, are you getting a 2-2.5% offer as well, or are you still covered by a previous deal?

Mike Harman

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on July 19, 2007

No idea about my current place, I think there's a deal about to go into force in August but not sure how it all works.

Steven.

17 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on July 19, 2007

Airport firefighters and engineers vote to strike. voline wrote a story, my net access was buggered, will post up tomorrow.

Heinz - private sectors workers strike over their sub inflation deal of 3.6%
http://libcom.org/news/heinz-workers-defy-union-walk-out-19072007

PCS are consulting through August on what type of industrial action to take

Post office are staggering strikes in different sectors to maximise disruption (see posties thread http://libcom.org/forums/organise/postal-workers-ballot-results )

NUT are set to strike maybe Jan 2008

There is pressure from the rank and file for other unions to speed everything up, it's stupid we have the same pay freeze and are waiting so other workers can be defeated before we even start fighting.

Mike Harman

16 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on July 29, 2007

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,,2136745,00.html

Mike Harman

16 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 1, 2007

http://tinyurl.com/yvw7vw

COUNCIL workers could strike in a row over pay.

Union members working for Kirklees have backed plans to ballot members on industrial action.

And they say they could join other public sector workers – including health staff and teachers – in an Autumn of Discontent.

Unison, the local government workers’ union, balloted thousands of members working for Kirklees after talks broke down over a 2% pay offer.

Union leaders say the employers’ offer is effectively a 2.4% pay cut as inflation is running at 4.4%.

They organised a ballot to move towards action and the proposal was passed by 2,365 to 251.

steven

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on August 1, 2007

This is what happened at my work. Unison are doing the national count now

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 1, 2007

You know the numbers for your work Steven? Kirklees looks like around 88%

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 1, 2007

social workers on strike in Glasgow:

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/2007/497/index.html?id=np1609.htm
http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=12640
http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3540
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6913047.stm

SIX HUNDRED Social Care Workers, members of Unison and employees of Glasgow city council Social Work Services, began all-out indefinite strike action on 24 July in pursuit of their claim for a higher grading.

steven

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on August 1, 2007

Mike Harman

You know the numbers for your work Steven? Kirklees looks like around 88%

1000 voted to reject the pay offer, 150-odd to accept. 40% response from union members - better than I thought. About a third of the workplace in Unison.

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 4, 2007

Steven.

catch what's your pay deal at the moment, are you getting a 2-2.5% offer as well, or are you still covered by a previous deal?

Finally worked it out.

We got 3% applied 1st August - which was agreed following the AUT strikes last year. According to this it could last for a while. More details here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1918

I think it's something like 3% August, 2.5 February 3% August - that kind of thing. Trying to find details on UCU's site is a nightmare.

Steven.

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 6, 2007

from Unison:

In Local Government branches have voted to reject the 2% pay claim and will no vote in a strike ballot.
When voting UNISON asked members to consider the following (from www.unison.org.uk)
Say no to 2%
- Inflation is running at 4.3% and earnings across the economy are rising by 3.6%
- the cost of living is currently increasing by 4.5%
- increases in the cost of housing, fuel and energy, council tax and childcare are even higher
- pay across the economy is rising by 3.6%

UNISON is co-ordinating our pay campaign with Local Government health and other service groups and with other public sector unions

If you vote to reject the offer you must be prepared to take part in substantial industrial action to improve it, including "all out" strike action."

Clearly branches/members thought this is unacceptable and will now ballot to go on strike action.

In Health they have now made an 'improved offer'
(again from our website)
The offer:
"Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will get the full 2.5% increase recommended by the pay review body immediately, backdated to 1 April this year.
The award will still be staged in England, with staff getting 1.5% payable from 1 April and the remaining 1% from 1 November.

"more money for the lowest paid. From 1 November there will be a £400 flat rate increase for those on Bands 1 and 2.
Those on Bands 3 and 4 will receive an additional £38 as well as the 2.5%. This will be payable in all 4 UK countries;

in England only, there will be additional money for staff training targeted directly at those non-clinical staff who often lose out when training budgets are cut; also in England only, there will be £38 paid to staff on Bands 5, 6, 7 and 8(a) who are required to register to practice – this money is a contribution to their professional fees."

Health members will now be balloted on whether or not to accept this offer.
Unison are not making a recomendation it is for you to make your own minds up. The website states that this is the best offer we can get through negotiations.

SO as in Local Government if you reject it you will have tp be prepared to go on strike.

There is a blog that has been set up by some nhsworkers that are advocating members reject this offer and that can be found here www.nhsworker.blogspot.com

Lets stand firm together and show the government that 2 or 2.5% (as our health conference has already said!) is not acceptable.

Steven.

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 9, 2007

Apparently PCS are rejecting further 1-day strikes, so any more action should be bigger than that.

Unison education accepted - but UCU hadn't yet. one Uni worker on urban75 said this:

It will be particularly interesting for us if UCU reject it and go for a strike. Obviously we (support staff) won't want to cross picket lines, and we unanimously rejected the deal in a workplace meeting, but as the GMB has officially accepted it we can't go out with them without potentially wrecking the joint pay talks forum.

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 17, 2007

Glasgow social workers appear to have won:

Glasgow strike resolved

(10/08/07) Striking social care workers in Glasgow will return to work on Monday after voting to accept a new offer from the council.

The move puts an end to the long-running dispute over pay and grading which has seen more than 550 social care staff in the city on strike since 24 July.

They were angry about the results of a job evaluation that didn't reflect the responsibilities of the job they carry out.

The improved offer follows lengthy negotiations between UNISON and the council. It gives all but a handful of workers the grading they were seeking.

Mike Kirby, the union's Glasgow convenor, said: "The new offer delivers the grade 5 that our members felt best reflected the responsibilities they carry out. The proposal also leaves open the details on how people will progress beyond the initial salary, and this will be the subject of further negotiation."

He added: "The solidarity of the members on strike was instrumental in delivering the key objective that they sought. They have a right to be satisfied with the outcome of their action."

http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3592

Also CWI Scotland has article:
http://socialistworld.net/eng/2007/08/13scotland.html

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 17, 2007

700 workers at Manchester Mental Health trust - ballot finished two days ago about branch rep suspension: http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3602

Also Coca Cola workers might be back on strike:
http://www.packagingnews.co.uk/news/731329/Strike-action-back-cards-Coca-Cola-Wakefield-talks-stall/

Orkney ferries - workers just rejected second pay offer 5-1 - 3.8% up from 2.5
http://www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=100418

Steven.

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 17, 2007

Looks like unison's trying to sell out the health workers:
http://libcom.org/news/health-workers-prepare-ballot-unison-leaders-back-15082007

Dundee_United

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Dundee_United on August 17, 2007

Glasgow social workers

It's social care workers, not social workers, as that was basically what it was about. Their struggle I think had more to do with the ramifications from single status (social care workers had their work regraded and faced onerous assessments etc in future on the nature of their 'skills'). Was a good victory though. I'll write something up about it.

germs90

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by germs90 on August 17, 2007

RPG

Steven - there won't be a NHS dispute over pay. The union's are doing a deal which will mean England follows Wales and Scotland and pays the 2.5% in full (except its already 3 months late).

I beg to differ.

We had a workplace (blood centre) meeting/info surgery today on the pay offer - Amicus's ballot has already opened + a few members have voted already - UNISON are mailing ballot forms from Monday. UNISON members have explicitly claimed that any payrise less than inflation, whether staged or unstaged, is not good enough.

Amicus nationally may be recommending acceptance but that doesn't wash on the ground. It means nothing - all it takes is a small amount of actual, practical, face-to-face campaigning. I am yet to meet a health worker who says they will vote yes. UNISON members in health have number-crunched up a table which shows the cut for each point on each NHS payband. It's a no brainer. Like gold plated platinum in propaganda terms.

It is very easy to say 'the unions will sell us out', but why let it happen, yet again, this time? If we do then more fool us. It's no cause to be smug + say 'told you so' if public sector workers end up forced to take a paycut - it is cause for shame. Forget your ideological hang-ups about different organisations + think about what will actually work right now in the real world.

At the same time as encouraging all union members to use their vote, we have to talk in depth about the best tactics for action, before public service workers are railroaded into more token one-day all out strikes. Then look at how to apply pressure so that those tactics are on the table as serious options for mass participation. Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of much time. That may mean making use of unsavoury + 'dirty' structures... But it has to all come back to what is best for the workers as a whole (not the personal political cause) in this particular fight.

Union members are not ignorant - so many are aware that casting a vote once a year is not anything like real democracy. They know that voting alone on this pay issue is not enough, + in my experience do think in a farsighted way about possibilites + outcomes.

3 words: Irish. Nurses. Organisation.

Dundee_United

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Dundee_United on August 18, 2007

At the same time as encouraging all union members to use their vote, we have to talk in depth about the best tactics for action, before public service workers are railroaded into more token one-day all out strikes. Then look at how to apply pressure so that those tactics are on the table as serious options for mass participation. Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of much time. That may mean making use of unsavoury + 'dirty' structures... But it has to all come back to what is best for the workers as a whole (not the personal political cause) in this particular fight.

Union members are not ignorant - so many are aware that casting a vote once a year is not anything like real democracy. They know that voting alone on this pay issue is not enough, + in my experience do think in a farsighted way about possibilites + outcomes.

I would tend to agree with this approach wholeheartedly. The key question though is more really about the 'how'. That's a bigger question. There's an 'us' as a political movement, an 'us' as a tendency in the labour movement, an 'us' as the labour movement, and an 'us' as a class. I think we need to be very specific about each of these, and how they interrelate, what forces are at play, and how we influence them.

I have some questions. I tried to raise some of this in the thread that that AWL guy started about the postal workers, but Devrim shot me down on that one without quite explaining where he was coming from, altho I'm sure he has an interesting perspective.

How does the libcom admin team see dispatch functioning?

Does the libcom admin team aim to use dispatch to try and generalise the public sector pay disputes?

What is SolFed's position on how to develop things here?

I like where germs90 is coming from on this and have heard interesting things about initiatives from them and others in their part of the world on this, but I want some organisational perspectives here as I'm yet to have my mind made up about what exactly to do in the current situation.

Joseph Kay

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on August 18, 2007

Dundee_United

How does the libcom admin team see dispatch functioning?

Does the libcom admin team aim to use dispatch to try and generalise the public sector pay disputes?

to encourage direct communication between workers within and between sectors, ideally to the point where the struggle can be controlled and coordinated from below and to communicate news and information within and between sectors about what other workers are doing (many posties down here weren't sure when their next strike dates were, let alone that there were wildcats in glasgow)

Dundee_United

What is SolFed's position on how to develop things here?

don't know - generally people seem up for distributing dispatch, and this is what we're doing locally in brighton and in edinburgh i think. not a great advert for federalism, i'll ask around to see what's happening and what we think we should be doing.

Devrim

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on August 18, 2007

Joseph K.

don't know - generally people seem up for distributing dispatch, and this is what we're doing locally in brighton and in edinburgh i think. not a great advert for federalism, i'll ask around to see what's happening and what we think we should be doing.

No, a good a argument for centralism though.

Devrim

germs90

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by germs90 on August 18, 2007

This

Joseph K.

...to encourage direct communication between workers within and between sectors, ideally to the point where the struggle can be controlled and coordinated from below and to communicate news and information within and between sectors about what other workers are doing (many posties down here weren't sure when their next strike dates were, let alone that there were wildcats in glasgow)

is so massively important, it is almost not an overstatement to say that without it you have lost already.

If anarcho-syndicalists can cover the base of thoroughly, heavily + regularly distributing a newsletter all over the country, that is great. That is not all that is necessary. But that is what they are able to bring to the fight. Playing a serious part in one of these public sector disputes (right now) means having to not be purist or sectarian, + suppressing the political gag reflex from time to time.

That's not to say progress is not being made. By even having anarcho-syndicalism as any kind of featured player, workers will first have their eyes opened to a genuine alternative which they might have only imagined before, + then will be able to judge if they like that approach/way of organisation better than the current position of things...

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 18, 2007

Dundee, ta for the correction.

germs90

It is very easy to say 'the unions will sell us out', but why let it happen, yet again, this time? If we do then more fool us. It's no cause to be smug + say 'told you so' if public sector workers end up forced to take a paycut - it is cause for shame. Forget your ideological hang-ups about different organisations + think about what will actually work right now in the real world.

At the same time as encouraging all union members to use their vote, we have to talk in depth about the best tactics for action, before public service workers are railroaded into more token one-day all out strikes. Then look at how to apply pressure so that those tactics are on the table as serious options for mass participation. Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of much time. That may mean making use of unsavoury + 'dirty' structures... But it has to all come back to what is best for the workers as a whole (not the personal political cause) in this particular fight.

Union members are not ignorant - so many are aware that casting a vote once a year is not anything like real democracy. They know that voting alone on this pay issue is not enough, + in my experience do think in a farsighted way about possibilites + outcomes.

The way things are at the moment, the majority of the response to this is going to be union-controlled, I think most of us recognise this regardless of our view of the unions. The postal wildcats show that this is always contingent however, although the recent ones weren't against the union of course, and were quickly brought back under its control. There's also been private sector wildcats around pay and redundancies this year which again are an encouraging sign. Overall the first thing which is going to prevent "sell outs" (although calling crap deals sell outs suggests the union leadership would act any other way) is that people are as well informed as possible about things going on both in their own sector and in others, and that there's direct communication between individuals involved. royalmailchat is doing a fantastic job on this - hopefully dispatch will encourage more discussion both face to face, on rmc and on here.

germs90

If anarcho-syndicalists can cover the base of thoroughly, heavily + regularly distributing a newsletter all over the country, that is great. That is not all that is necessary. But that is what they are able to bring to the fight. Playing a serious part in one of these public sector disputes (right now) means having to not be purist or sectarian, + suppressing the political gag reflex from time to time.

That's not to say progress is not being made. By even having anarcho-syndicalism as any kind of featured player, workers will first have their eyes opened to a genuine alternative which they might have only imagined before, + then will be able to judge if they like that approach/way of organisation better than the current position of things...

Just to clarify, "dispatch" isn't anarcho-syndicalist - at least three people involved don't call themselves anarchists at all, and both the local AF and solfed groups have offered to distribute it. Hopefully it not being associated with any one group (it's not a libcom publication either, although some of us are involved) might help it develop as things progress.

germs90

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by germs90 on August 18, 2007

Mike Harman

Overall the first thing which is going to prevent "sell outs" (although calling crap deals sell outs suggests the union leadership would act any other way) is that people are as well informed as possible about things going on both in their own sector and in others, and that there's direct communication between individuals involved. royalmailchat is doing a fantastic job on this - hopefully dispatch will encourage more discussion both face to face, on rmc and on here.

This is extremely important. Hoping to address the bad problems with worker-to-worker communication across the blood service as a high priority. A non-union/rank + file staff newsletter is under construction + I have wanted to see a web forum for NBS employees for a while.

germs90

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by germs90 on August 19, 2007

Those of you working in health might find these 2 resources helpful in the next couple of weeks:

http://www.unionlists.org.uk/lists/arc/healthactivists/2007-08/msg00057/PAY_OFFER_THE_EFFECTS.pdf
A table which works out what health workers will receive if this 2.5% offer is accepted, what they need to keep up with inflation, + therefore how much of a cut will be taken from their pay.

http://nhsworker.blogspot.com/
This blog about the NHS pay dispute (recently amended after the UNISON witch-hunt began, with names of individuals + branches recommending a no vote removed to avoid victimisation) also has a link to the above info in a far more detailed spreadsheet - figures for each pay point, not just the top of each band - for download.

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 20, 2007

germs, thanks for the nhsworker blog link.

Could be lecturers strike in Northern Ireland. There was one quite recently wasn't there?

ECTURERS in Northern Ireland have rejected a "derisory pay offer which amounts to a pay cut".
The decision of the University and College Union (UCU) was announced after a meeting of the lecturers’ negotiating committee on Tuesday.

The dispute over pay in the further education sector has been ongoing for three years.

UCU’s regional official Jim McKeown said: “Lecturers will be sickened by this derisory offer. It is a year overdue and it is the lowest offer made to any education workers in the UK in the 2006 pay round. It is below inflation for the year and in reality amounts to a pay cut.”

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news?articleid=3115006

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 26, 2007

Edinburgh council one day strike about school closures: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/6960048.stm

Steven.

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 28, 2007

Prison officers set to launch illegal strike:
http://libcom.org/forums/news/prison-officers-set-launch-unlawful-strike-28082007

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 30, 2007

Heathrow Security Staff next month
Orkney ferries - rejected 3.5%
Dounreay nuclear power station - strike called off, big ballot result though
still a backlog in Watford!
few hundred at Scottish and Newcastle brewery
Liverpool museum staff

Not directly related but some kind of cabbie wildcat last weekend - four days - in Coventry:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/6957415.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/6954507.stm

Steven.

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 30, 2007

shit we need to get that stuff up, and the prison warders, on news, i'm well busy until the weekend though.

Marshall

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Marshall on August 30, 2007

Steven., catch, et al:

how could I get involved? Am glad to offer my services as a hack to put stories up on the website

Mike Harman

16 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on August 30, 2007

Marshall, that'd be great.

Basically any of those stories that haven't been covered, we want to get articles in libcom.org/news for. They don't have to be massively in depth, just 2-3 paragraphs outlining what's going on - they can always be updated if new information comes in. You should be able to add one by going to "create content >> news". Also if different things tie in together - like the Heathrow Terminal 5 and security staff and Nippon Express, or the same area etc. then combining is good.

Images are good to have (there's an upload form) but we can find them if not available.

Tagging and other stuff is covered at http://libcom.org/notes/content-guidelines - let us know if you're able to do something/got any questions.

steven

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on September 4, 2007

very very good news. i was worried cos Unison accepted a 2.45% deal for police workers, but no the rejected the local govt offer!!

Members of UNISON's national negotiating met earlier today to consider the latest revised pay offer from the local government employers of just under 2.5%. They have rejected this offer as an acceptable basis for resolving the long-running dispute over this year's pay claim and have instead voted overwhelmingly to authorise a national strike ballot for UNISON members in local authorities across England, Wales and the north of Ireland. A timetable for the official strike ballot should be announced shortly, but at present if there is a 'yes' vote industrial action could begin in early November.

Joseph Kay

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on September 7, 2007

The largest union representing local government workers has rejected an improved pay offer, increasing the potential for industrial discontent this winter.

Unions have called for a series of co-ordinated strikes affecting more than 2m health workers, local government staff, civil servants and prison officers in protest at pay-restraint policies imp­osed by Gordon Brown

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e2be66fa-5c9f-11dc-9cc9-0000779fd2ac.html

interesting that the press aimed at the bourgeoisie has no problem seeing this as a cross-sector dispute, but the more mass media has been reporting mostly separate disputes.

RPG

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by RPG on September 7, 2007

I've long thought that the FT has the best coverage of industrial relations...BTW I loved Bob Crowe's quote this week when the Standard asked him how long the Metronet dispute would go on - he said

'we will strike until we win'

liked that!

Joseph Kay

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on September 7, 2007

RPG

I've long thought that the FT has the best coverage of industrial relations...

iirc Chomsky reckons the wall street journal is the most accurate of the US bourgeois press - because if you bullshit stock brokers and CEOs it has adverse consequences.

Marshall

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Marshall on September 7, 2007

RPG - you might be right with the FT - I think it is the only national left with a labour/industrial correspondent.

germs90

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by germs90 on September 8, 2007

Result of Amicus (Unite) NHS pay ballot:

http://www.unionlists.org.uk/lists/arc/healthactivists/2007-09/msg00020.html

:x :x :x

Never mind the result - what about the dismal turnout?!

Before you all start crowing 'sell-out', this is still not yet a done deal.
What is essential now is that any UNISON health members/activists/reps work to encourage as near to full participation in the last days of the ballot. I know this doesn't fit well with the aims of libcom but is what has to happen in the immediate term to safeguard our existing living standards, poor as they are, here + now.
If a majority of members have had their say + still accept a pay-cut, then you can say 'I told you so'.

Steven.

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on September 9, 2007

germs90

Result of Amicus (Unite) NHS pay ballot:

http://www.unionlists.org.uk/lists/arc/healthactivists/2007-09/msg00020.html

That link doesn't work too well, i'm assuming you mean this one:

UNITE HEALTH MEMBERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO ACCEPT 2.5% 'STAGED' PAY AWARD IN ENGLAND

But anger remains at government interference with the Pay Review Body recommendation

Members of Unite in England, the third largest union in the NHS, have voted to accept the 2.5% pay offer - despite widespread anger that the award was 'staged'.

Unite members in England voted by a margin of three-to-one to accept the staged award which works out at 1.9% over 12 months. 74.8 % voted to accept the award and 25.2% to reject. The turnout was 22.3 % of the 59,000 members in England who were balloted.

NHS colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are receiving the full award backdated to 1April, 2007 from their devolved governments.

Unite Head of Health, Kevin Coyne said that anger centered on the fact government ministers had interfered with the independence of the Pay Review Body (PRB) which had recommended the full 2.5% to be paid from 1 April.

Kevin Coyne said: 'While the result is an overwhelming acceptance of the revised offer, our members remain extremely angry at the government for failing to uphold the recommendation of the Pay Review Body. This must not be allowed to happen again.'

'If there is to be a rebuilding of trust and morale amongst NHS staff which Gordon Brown and Health Minister, Lord Darzi have promised to make a priority, then the integrity and independence of the PRB must be upheld and not tampered with.'

:x :x :x

Never mind the result - what about the dismal turnout?!

Turnout seems pretty average for a non-militant union ballot/consultation. And wouldn't this've been a consultation, not an official ballot? Consultations are done very patchily, lots of whole branches don't bother because they don't have enough activists. my workplace's consultation, we consulted more members than pretty much the rest of London put together.

Before you all start crowing 'sell-out', this is still not yet a done deal.

Hmmm, I don't know how anyone can call it a sellout if the membership voted for it.

What is essential now is that any UNISON health members/activists/reps work to encourage as near to full participation in the last days of the ballot. I know this doesn't fit well with the aims of libcom but is what has to happen in the immediate term to safeguard our existing living standards, poor as they are, here + now.
If a majority of members have had their say + still accept a pay-cut, then you can say 'I told you so'.

i don't think there's anything that doesn't fit with the aims of libcom in trying to get people to vote no. With those things, the bigger the turnout and No vote, the better the chance of getting a better offer.

germs90

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by germs90 on September 9, 2007

Thanks for posting the text up Steven., I couldn't find the press release on a page to link to last night.

Steven.

Turnout seems pretty average for a non-militant union ballot/consultation.

Maybe so, but that is not acceptable on an issue as important as this! It doesn't have to be this low just because it usually has been in the past.

Steven.

Before you all start crowing 'sell-out', this is still not yet a done deal.

Hmmm, I don't know how anyone can call it a sellout if the membership voted for it.

Neither do I, but I have read posters on here say that the unions will 'stitch up' the members in the various public sector pay disputes, when the final outcome is decided by how the membership votes.

Steven.

i don't think there's anything that doesn't fit with the aims of libcom in trying to get people to vote no. With those things, the bigger the turnout and No vote, the better the chance of getting a better offer.

I don't want to tar all posters with the same brush of course, but there seems to be a widely held (+ understandable) view that nothing can or should be acheived to improve workers' lives through mainstream/TUC trade union activity. I disagree with this in the immediate term in relation to struggles over pay offers. In this current case I would argue that organising through trade unions is the most effective option by miles. Constantly slagging off whole unions (as opposed to the very distinct leaders) as if they are homogenous blobs, does not make workers want to participate in, or even be part of the rank + file membership of any type of union in future, in my opinion.

Amicus activists think a bad database + therefore members not even receiving voting forms is part of the reason for the low turnout. UNISON members who have not got a form yet need to ring:

0845 355 0845

or visit:

http://www.unison.org.uk/help/ballot2007.asp

Ballot closes Sept 13th. Joining before Sept 10th entitles you to vote so new members should chase up if they haven't had a voting paper.
Please can health workers circulate the number + link widely as obviously we can't rely on active branch committees doing a thorough job.

Steven.

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on September 9, 2007

germs90

Thanks for posting the text up Steven., I couldn't find the press release on a page to link to last night.

Steven.

Turnout seems pretty average for a non-militant union ballot/consultation.

Maybe so, but that is not acceptable on an issue as important as this! It doesn't have to be this low just because it usually has been in the past.

Steven.

Before you all start crowing 'sell-out', this is still not yet a done deal.

Hmmm, I don't know how anyone can call it a sellout if the membership voted for it.

Neither do I, but I have read posters on here say that the unions will 'stitch up' the members in the various public sector pay disputes, when the final outcome is decided by how the membership votes.

I gotta go out - but on this quickly, it's not entirely true. For example, this Unison health deal, the union are stitching it up, not only are Unison refusing to recommend a "no" vote to the appalling offer, they're not letting branches recommend "no" votes either, and are witchhunting branches and activists who are saying "no". This aside from the fact that not only are Unison keeping Unison workers separate from others in the entire public sector dispute, but they're also separating Unison members from each other in different industries like health, education and local govt - a ridiculous situation.

Mike Harman

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on September 9, 2007

Steven.

I gotta go out - but on this quickly, it's not entirely true. For example, this Unison health deal, the union are stitching it up, not only are Unison refusing to recommend a "no" vote to the appalling offer, they're not letting branches recommend "no" votes either, and are witchhunting branches and activists who are saying "no". This aside from the fact that not only are Unison keeping Unison workers separate from others in the entire public sector dispute, but they're also separating Unison members from each other in different industries like health, education and local govt - a ridiculous situation.

Yeah and then we have the CWU putting their members in the, er, unusual situation of being told to cross each other's picket lines, then 3.5 weeks of no strikes just after a massive backlog had been built up, and now no deal after almost a month of secret talks that no-one knows anything about the contents of. Four years ago the leadership pushed through a deal, with a very sloppy ballot (lots of forms lost etc.), and they got ousted along with massive wildcats. No sign of that just yet here though.

This doesn't mean that workers shouldn't go out on strikes called by the unions, or that communists should abstain from giving any opinion on whether people should go out on strike just because the union is calling a ballot. It means arguing for the maximum possible action to be taken, whilst making it very clear that the union's primary focus is maintaining it's place at the negotiating table more than the interests of the members. Effective action is always going to be outside the union framework in most cases, because really effective action threatens their ability to control disputes and deliver a deal, to both sides.

I think the term "sell out" is a misnomer. It's the trade unions' role within capital to negotiate for heir members as wage earners, and to maintain a position within the management structure that allows them to negotiate such deals - a position which is contingent on maintaining 'discipline' in return for a say in how things are implemented. When people talk about a 'sell out' it suggests that they expect the leadership and the union apparatus as a whole to act differently - contrary to their interests.

As such the unions shouldn't be seen as some kind of conspiracy - they just have to be recognised for what they are, so there's not the constant cycle of building hopes up for a successful all out fight within the boundaries set by disputes, then the calls of 'sell out' and demoralisation which follows when this doesn't happen. That focuses attention on a crisis of leadership rather than a crisis of the conflicting interests between workers and their union - which is a distinct institution with it's own particular needs. The 'sell out' cry usually leads to leadership challenges, calls for 'working class representation' (Trot parties), splinter-unions, doesn't deal with the systemic issues which cause them - i.e the actual relation of labour power to capital and the union's role in managing this relationship

An urgent message from Billy Hayes , General Secretary and Dave Ward , Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

Dear Colleague,

Talks have concluded this evening (Sunday 9th September) without an agreement being reached.

Royal Mail has stated that the period of calm is over and they will now prepare to run the business and move change forward.

We have told Royal Mail we are prepared to continue the talks and extend the period of calm.

Given the seriousness of the situation the Postal Executive will meet tomorrow (Monday 10th September) to receive a full report and consider the next steps.

A further and more detailed communication will follow.

Joseph Kay

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on September 13, 2007

Former prime minister Baroness Thatcher has left 10 Downing Street after a meeting with Gordon Brown... The visit followed an exchange of letters between Mr Brown and Lady Thatcher, who led the country from 1979 to 1990, shortly after he became prime minister in June.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6993269.stm

call me cynical but with Brown on a mission to break the last of the organised working class, the TUC murmering about a winter of discontent and Royal Mail bosses comparing the current dispute to the miners' strike, i wonder what they could possibly have been talking about.

Steven.

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on September 17, 2007

Unison health workers accept deal, following the union blocking branches recommending rejection:

Health workers back pay deal
(13/09/07) UNISON members in the NHS have voted 2 to 1 in favour of the revised pay offer secured by union negotiators in August.

The deal will put extra cash in the pockets of the lowest paid workers in the NHS. In addition, non-clinical staff will have their training budgets boosted, and clinicians will get money to put towards their training fees - though only in England, where the award is being staged.

Karen Jennings, UNISON head of health, said it was a pragmatic vote.

"I believe that workers in the health service deserve better - however UNISON said the revised offer was the best that could be achieved through negotiation, and the result shows that members recognised that fact."

Members had been told that should they reject the deal, they should also be prepared to support industrial action.

However, the union will be seeking more money next year to make up for accepting this year's below-inflation award.

"We will be making a strong case for a catch-up award," Ms Jennings said. "I don't believe health workers will accept a below-inflation pay increase for two years running."

In the meantime, the union is determined to improve terms and conditions for NHS staff by making progress over issues such as a reduced working week and better training. Talks are due to begin soon.

UNISON represents 450,000 members in the NHS including nurses, paramedics, healthcare assistants, cleaners, cooks, porters, administrative staff and therapists. 68.8% voted for and 31.2% against the offer.

Joseph Kay

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on September 17, 2007

a guy i do kung fu with who works in the NHS said the 'explanatory note' provided by unison was so complicated no-one could figure out what the deal meant, whether it was staggered etc. so coupled with the witch-hunting of antis it's not surprising people went with the 'recommendation' - not sure what the turnout/response was?

Steven.

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on September 17, 2007

Joseph K.

a guy i do kung fu with who works in the NHS said the 'explanatory note' provided by unison was so complicated no-one could figure out what the deal meant, whether it was staggered etc. so coupled with the witch-hunting of antis it's not surprising people went with the 'recommendation'

exactly

- not sure what the turnout/response was?

My guess would be very low.

germs90

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by germs90 on September 19, 2007

Turn out for the UNISON health service group pay offer ballot was around 20%.

There are clearly huge problems to address with the membership database. Some of these errors will be down to slackness on the union's part - others from members moving + not remembering to update their records (which the union should make more of an effort to remind people of - regularly).

An anecdote from my section - one blood service UNISON rep phoned regional office to see why 100 or so branch members had not received voting papers + was told they were listed wrongly as employees of the 'National Blood Authority' (defunct for about 10 years - now part of 'NHS Blood + Transplant') + therefore not entitled to vote!! This surely could have been repeated across all NBS branches, potentially running into 1000+ healthworkers denied a say.
Pissed off, powerless, + poorer!

What if consultations had to report a turnout of over 50% to be binding? Or, even better, if no vote counted as a 'No' vote (as technically, the member has not accepted the offer)... Then you would see officials with an agenda sweating their arses off to get full participation...

Dundee_United

16 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Dundee_United on September 20, 2007

I presume folks have seen this...

"19/09/07) UNISON is to ask its 850,000 local
government members whether they're prepared to take
action over this year's low pay offer.

The ballot was given the go ahead by the union's
industrial action committee at a meeting today. Papers
will be sent out in October.

Earlier this month local government representatives
rejected the employers' revised offer of 2.475% and a
new minimum rate on scale point 4 of £8 an hour.

The deal is below inflation, despite being a slight
improvement on the original offer. The Retail Price
Index figures were recorded at 4.1% in August.

UNISON’s head of local government, Heather Wakefield,
said: "I don't want to see local government pay
falling further behind the rest of the public sector
and private sector. Our members' morale is low. We
urge employers to help resolve this situation by
returning to talks."

Council workers covered by the pay claim include care
home and home care assistants, housing and
environmental health officers, refuse collectors,
librarians and school cooks. Almost two thirds of
them, 75% of whom are women, earn £15,825 or under a
year -- £8,000 less than the national average."

http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3682

In Edinburgh local government workers (organised through Unison) have played a role in the ongoing campaign against council cuts, schools and nursery closures and redundancies...

http://www.edinburghunison.blip.tv/

Also check out: http://stopthecuts.blogspot.com/

There are some positive initiatives coming out of that campaign... Much, much more vibrant than the campaign against school closures in Glasgow last year.

Mike Harman

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 3, 2007

Talks between Nipsa and the Education and Library Boards broke down last night with thousands of classroom assistants refusing to return to work until their demands are met.

At the end of the first day of a three day strike, relationships between the unions and management appeared at an all time low and all out strike action appeared likely.

Up to 3,000 members of public service union Nipsa staged the first day of a three day walk out yesterday in a dispute over pay and terms and conditions.

Special schools across the province forced to close while pupils at mainstream schools with special needs were also forced to remain at home. The situation is expected to deteriorate as strike action continues.

If no agreement can be achieved, the classroom assistants will only return to work on Friday before beginning all out action on Monday.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/article3021938.ece

Anyone in Belfast know more about this? Sounds pretty full on.

also, nasty: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7017298.stm

Mike Harman

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 3, 2007

Norwich hospital cleaners:

Dozens of cleaners, porters, and catering staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are voting this week on whether to take strike action as a dispute over pay threatened to boil over.

If given the go-ahead, the move would affect 44 workers, who are members of the union Unite, who are employed by the private contractor Serco.

Angry staff claim they are missing out on the same pay and benefits that there NHS employed counterparts receive.

Mike Harman

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 3, 2007

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6993366.stm

Tower Hamlets council gardeners after 3.5% offer.

Mike Harman

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 8, 2007

Very odd Guardian article by ex-swappie Gregor Gall: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/unions/story/0,,2182949,00.html

The relationship of the unions to Labour is at least mentioned as contributing to the lack of strike action - haven't seen that much in the press, but otherwise the usual Trot fare, just unusual to see it in this context.

steven

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by steven on October 9, 2007

Dundee_United

I presume folks have seen this...

"19/09/07) UNISON is to ask its 850,000 local
government members whether they're prepared to take
action over this year's low pay offer.

The ballot was given the go ahead by the union's
industrial action committee at a meeting today. Papers
will be sent out in October.

This ballot ends Oct 26, and is for action beginning with a 2-day all-out strike 14-15 November. A Yes vote is expected, although the union's vote yes prop is shite, giving the employers arguments on the front page and workers' ones on the back.

Some teachers were trying to bring forwards their ballot for their action to coincide, the PCS says they'll try to have action then or very soon around then. Some posties will probably be out on those days too.

Mike Harman

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 16, 2007

NI classroom assistants back at work, no deal: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7044503.stm

Mike Harman

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 18, 2007

Looks like BBC strikes will be on pretty quick:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2193379,00.html
http://media.guardian.co.uk/bbc/story/0,,2193436,00.html

Medical secretaries balloting on strike as NHS trust derecognises the GMB: http://www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/PressItems.asp?NodeID=96157

No strike at Nuclear plant http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/7048546.stm would be good to have details of what the deal was.

Steven.

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on October 30, 2007

Unison local govt strike ballot was narrowly for yes, but the union decided not to call a strike. People at my work are going to be pissed... i'm pretty furious. the union's pro-yes prop was awful - it gave the bosses arguments on the front page of leaflet, and workers ones small on the back. this definitely helped the big no vote. fucking unions :(

* FOR strike action 74,631 (51.6%)
* AGAINST strike action 70,088 (48.4%)

* Turnout 24.4% of members eligible to vote.

UNISON's national negotiating body, the NJC Committee, met yesterday and considered this outcome. Whilst welcoming the majority vote for strike action, the Committee decided that in all the circumstances, including the narrowness of the majority and the size of the return, this result does not constitute the basis for viable industrial action to break the Government's pay policy.

UNISON will therefore now settle the 2007 Pay Claim on the basis of the employers' revised offer made on 24 August. As you will recall, this provides for an increase of 2.475% at all points, apart from the lowest pay point (scp4) where the national basic rate will rise by 3.4% to produce an hourly rate of £6.00. These increases are backdated to 1 April 2007. London Weighitng will be increased by the same percentage at each pay point.

The Committee agreed further action to continue into next year the fight against the Government's pay policy and the prospect of employers' attacks on our national pay and conditions agreements, in coordination with other services within UNISON and other public service trade unions. Further information is on UNISON's national website.

Mike Harman

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 31, 2007

PCS members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the union's proposals for national industrial action aimed at resolving the ongoing national dispute in the civil service and related bodies over job cuts, below inflation pay and privatisation.

68% of members voting in the national consultative ballot voted for national strike action as part of the union's campaign, which has already seentwo strongly supported national one day strikes this year. The result is a clear demonstration of PCS members resolve to reach a fair settlement with senior civil service management and the government over jobs, pay and conditions.

The union's National Executive Committee will meet tomorrow, 1st November, to consider the ballot result and to receive a report on the discussions currently taking place with Cabinet Office officials.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "The union's NEC will be meeting tomorrow to consider the result in the context of discussions with the Cabinet Office. Civil service management and the government must be in no doubt of the determination of their own workforce to take action if necessary, to achieve a fair settlement over jobs, pay and conditions and must now find added urgency in reaching an agreement with the union."

http://www.pcs.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=914787

Mike Harman

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 31, 2007

More NIPSA school assistants strikes in NI:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/article3112892.ece

Airports might go out over pensions:

Unite, formed by the merger of Amicus and the Transport & General Workers' Union, confirmed yesterday that shop stewards representing about 6,000 staff at BAA's British airports, had formally asked for a ballot on industrial action, up to and including strikes. BAA owns seven UK airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton.

http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2202041,00.html

Sidney Huffman

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Sidney Huffman on November 2, 2007

Unison want shooting with shit for the totally embarrassing end to this dispute. At my workplace in Local govt. we have union members of 20-odd years standing leaving unison because of this and who can blame them? Anyone for self-organisation?

Spikymike

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on November 6, 2007

Well indeed - the strategy of UNISON was probably on a loser despite the radical sounding language - but none of us can hold our heads up, insofar as we are yet unable to significantly influence our fellow workers in a more radical direction. More effort I suppose with the likes of Dispatch and similar bulletins.

Steven.

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on November 7, 2007

Prentis was overheard saying at TUC conference there would be a strike "over his dead body"...

Joseph Kay

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on November 7, 2007

that could suit all concerned

Dundee_United

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Dundee_United on November 7, 2007

Prentis was overheard saying at TUC conference there would be a strike "over his dead body"...

That sounds like a really good sticker idea. :D

Steven.

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on December 10, 2007

civil servants 2 day strike:
http://libcom.org/news/uk-public-service-strike-enters-second-day-07122007

then ongoing overtime ban from today

not that they should be supported, but for interest police also threatening strikes:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=500681&in_page_id=1770

ftony

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ftony on December 10, 2007

so we wait for the police to strike then take over this joint yeah? :bb:

Mike Harman

16 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on June 23, 2008

Unison local government ballot result is due today. Going to be lots of 'summer of discontent' articles all day I reckon, here's one from yesterday:

Mail on Sunday:

Tomorrow sees the result of a strike ballot of more than 800,000 local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who have been urged by their union Unison to reject a 2.45% pay offer.

That offer is already above the Government's target of 2% but it has still failed to appease unions.

The ballot results could prove a shot across the bows ahead of pay talks between the Government and six unions due to resume on Wednesday.

The unions represent 250,000 staff at further education colleges in England who have rejected a 3% pay offer and are demanding 6%.

Meanwhile, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is finalising plans for a strike ballot of 280,000 members in the civil service in pursuit of various pay claims, all of them above the Government's 2% norm.

Mike Harman

16 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on June 23, 2008

http://unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=4461

Local government members vote for action

(23/06/08) UNISON members in local government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted by 55% to 45% for a programme of sustained strike action over a 2.45% pay offer.

The union’s negotiating team, the National Joint Council committee, will now meet tomorrow to decide what action to recommend to the national strike committee that meets on Friday 27 June.

Commenting on the ballot result, general secretary Dave Prentis said: "This is a solid vote for action and a clear message to the local government employers that our members are willing to fight for a decent pay rise.

"They are fed up and angry that they are expected to accept pay cut after pay cut, while bread and butter prices go through the roof.

"Most of them are low paid workers, who are hit hardest by food and fuel price hikes and they see the unfairness of boardroom bonanzas and big city bonuses

"Other local government workers who have to use their cars for work are being hit hard too by spiralling fuel costs and they end up subsidising their employers."

UNISON head of local government Heather Wakefield added: "The employers should be in no doubt: the members have voted for a programme of sustained and escalating strike action because they are sick of being treated as the poor relations of the public sector.

"Their case for a realistic pay increase is indisputable. We are, of course, willing to meet with the employers at any time, but we will decide tomorrow what recommendations to make to our national strike committee."

Nearly 600,000 UNISON members were balloted on industrial action; including social workers, housing benefit workers, rent collectors refuse workers, school meals staff, teaching assistants, cooks, cleaners, architects and surveyors.

Almost 250,000 of those balloted earn less than £6.50 an hour and 75% of them are women.

The joint unions' pay claim was for 6% or 50p an hour whichever was the greater.

Steven.

16 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 23, 2008

thread for this year here:
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/public-sector-pay-disputes-2008-23052008

ricardoexterp

15 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ricardoexterp on February 7, 2009

"UK public sector pay dispute"

Heh - there have always been quite a dispute between some things that just need to be solved and because of that everything needs to be settled up by managing some issues that are done in a way or another only by us humans who have to take decisions. I work as a pigeon control guy for example but that doesn't stop me for caring about how nurses, local gov, civil service or post office works in this Kingdom.

-Richard